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Our readers asked:

Dressing a Priest
What are the various parts of the priest’s outfit?

Julianne Wallace Answers:

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Ordinarily in the Mass, the priest wears three types of sacred vestments:

Alb: This garment is common to both ordained and instituted members of the Church. The Alb is a long white garment that is worn over ordinary clothing. Often, a cincture is used around the waist so that the alb can fit properly.

Chasuble: This is a vestment that comes in many colors and the priest wears the particular color of the liturgical season. The Chasuble is worn over the alb and stole.

Stole: The stole is worn by the priest around his neck. It is a long, narrow rectangular vestment that will also bear the color of the liturgical season. (Please note: a stole is also worn by the deacon, but he wears it across his chest.)

For more information on the different vestments, see Chapter IV of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy.

The Author : Julianne Wallace
Julianne E. Wallace is the associate director of faith formation, worship, and ministry at St. Bonaventure University in Western New York. She earned an M.T.S in Word and Worship from the Washington Theological Union in Washington, D.C. and a B.A. in Music Performance from the University of Mary Washington in Virginia. Julianne is passionate about sharing the joy of liturgy with others and helping everyone to worship well.
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Please note that the editorial staff reserves the right to not post comments it deems to be inappropriate and/or malicious in nature, as well as edit comments for length, clarity and fairness.
  • Orin

    Deacons can wear dalmatics, but not chasubles. They look the same at first, but are different as they have sleeves. Also, lay people may wear albs as well, as it’s a vestment of the baptized, not for the instituted and ordained only. The main symbol of ordination is the stole, though generally a chasuble ought to be worn too.

  • DebG.

    In our Diocese, most of the time, I see Priests wearing just the alb and stole without the chasuble…could it be because we live in the hot Southwestern desert. But, also, sometimes when a chasuble is worn, the stole is on top of it rather than underneath it, though. We are blessed with good, holy, orthodox Priests. Thoughts?

  • Sarah

    My diocese recently started having deacons wear Chasubles as well. I am not a fan. Also I agree with Bridget, I would love some more information on ths :D

  • Joseph

    I think your reference is wrong. Chapter IV of SACROSANCTUM CONCILIUM is about the Divine Office.

  • Bridget

    I think we could handle a bit more information, such as the origin of the words, the changing colors as they relate to the church seasons and the symbolic meaning of each vestment.

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